Combining a youthful exuberance with his high-level playing experience, Avi Vemuri was an invaluable resource to Hill’s varsity and JV girls’ tennis players during the fall 2019 season, his first at The Hill. As an assistant coach, Vemuri immediately made a good impression about his coaching and leadership abilities; his potential impressed Hill Director of Athletics Seth Eilberg enough to name Vemuri The Hill’s head girls’ and boys’ tennis coach, effective immediately.
"Coach Vemuri quickly established himself as a passionate, knowledgeable coach who connects well with his players,” said Eilberg. “His enthusiasm for the game of tennis is easily evident, as is his desire to continue building our tennis programs. We are excited to see what he does this spring and beyond.”
A native of Portland, Oregon, Vemuri was ranked as high as 166th nationally and first in the Pacific Northwest as a junior player. He played at first singles throughout all four years of his high school career and he was a four-star recruit in his sophomore and junior seasons.
Vemuri attended Claremont McKenna College in California, where he was a four-year member of the Stags’ perennial Division III-power men’s tennis team. In his junior year, Vemuri compiled an individual record of 22-3, which ranks ninth all-time in Claremont McKenna history for single-season winning percentage. During Vemuri’s senior season, the Stags spent most of the year as the top-ranked Division III program in the country, reaching the NCAA title match before falling to Emory University.
In the spring of 2019, Vemuri graduated from Claremont McKenna with a B.A. in Economics with a sequence in Computer Science. He joined The Hill Community as a Computer Science intern for the 2019-2020 school year.
“I am greatly honored to be named head coach of the boys and girls tennis programs at Hill,” Vemuri said. “Through tennis, I have learned my most valuable lessons, gained my most memorable experiences, and developed some of my most valuable relationships. I am ecstatic to now help the outstanding young men and women as they too embark on this journey. For now, I’m looking forward to getting back out on the court this Spring.
“I also am thankful to Headmaster Lehman and to Seth Eilberg for giving me the opportunity to lead Hill Tennis, and to Penny Miller for being a mentor to me this past fall.”
Miller, who served as interim girls’ coach during the fall 2019 season, will continue to assist the program. Miller was a three-time All-American and three-time NCAA Tournament qualifier at Williams College, and as a coach she led Lawrenceville to numerous Mid-Atlantic Prep League titles.
“We are indebted to Coach Miller for stepping up this fall to help lead our girls’ tennis team and excited that she will remain available to support Avi in his transition,” Eilberg said. “Given her extensive tennis resume, she is an incredible resource for our tennis programs and appreciate her continued behind-the-scenes efforts to advance our programs.”
Hill’s girls’ team recently finished the fall season, and the boys’ team will begin play in early spring.